It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With Christmas only days away, it’s hard to think about anything but this beautiful time of giving and joy. For marketers, this season is one of the top ones to think both creatively and strategically to make the most out of the opportunity where everyone is looking to buy for each other. Here are five creative strategies I’ve noticed companies pulling out this holiday season that are absolutely brilliant.
1. Online Wish Lists
This one is genius. How many times do you find yourself wanting to give someone the perfect gift but have no idea what to get them? An online wish list makes it beyond simple to see exactly what someone wants, yet still gives you the freedom to choose what you buy from there. Target has been utilizing this strategy fabulously, even creating a fun app with loads of pictures for kids to download on their phones or tablets and show their parents. The best part about this strategy is that once the list is filled out, buyers know exactly where to go to get the gift they’re looking for. Chances are they’ll see more than just one item on that list during their visit to the store, so they might even pick up several items from that list when before they couldn’t think of any.
2. Community Outreach
There’s no better season than Christmas to give back to the community. All over the internet we read articles about families who can’t afford to get gifts this Christmas, and nothing warms our hearts more than knowing we can help them. As customers, we value the stores that have high social responsibility programs. “Would you like to round up to the nearest dollar to donate to ____?” 34 more cents and I feel like I’m making a difference? You bet.
3. Referral Rewards
Word of mouth is arguably the strongest force of marketing. One of the best ways to encourage word of mouth is by rewarding those who spread the word, especially around Christmastime. We all know that everyone’s peak buying season is around Christmas, so offering an incentive to both the referee and the referrer will give them all the more reason to buy from your company. “Merry Christmas, here’s a coupon for $20 off!” is fun to spread to your friends, but it’s even more fun knowing you have one for yourself too.
4. Decorate, decorate, decorate!
Take advantage of the Christmas hype and decorate your store so it truly feels like a Christmas experience. Furthermore, you can even encourage customers to partake in the festivities in your store by setting up fun areas of the store for them to take a picture . Companies can go one step further with this and offer incentives or competitions on social media if those customers post pictures from within the store and use a fun holiday hashtag.
5. Reward your loyal customers, but give a little something to the old ones too.
We all know the value of making sure our loyal customers know they’re appreciated, but for online companies, there’s inevitably going to be “forgotten customers” too– inactive accounts, expired free trials, and email subscribers that never ended up buying anything at all. Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to give these customers a little gift to try to get them to come back, even for just a little while. Give them a limited Christmas offer of an extended free trial for a premium service or an invite to try a brand new app that they might enjoy.
Happy holidays everyone, and I hope you have a wonderful season of giving!